Since British Airways devalued its On Business scheme for small and medium sized companies last May, it has become irrelevant for many SMEs.
The fact that £30,000 of BA spending is required to get off the basic membership tier – which is a lot of travel if your business does not involve long-haul flights – is a sign of how much you are valued. It is also substantially harder to earn a free flight under the new structure.
There is an alternative. PartnerPlusBenefit, previously Star Alliance Company Plus, is the Star Alliance equivalent of On Business, aimed at companies in the UK and Ireland.
What makes PartnerPlusBenefit more powerful than BA’s On Business is that flights from 11 airlines earn points. The participating airlines are Air Canada, LOT, Lufthansa, germanwings, Eurowings, Austrian, ANA, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, United and TAP Portugal.
There is also a wider range of redemption options than On Business offers. As well as flight redemptions and upgrades, you can also redeem for giftcards for hotel bookings, Lufthansa FlyNet internet vouchers, chauffeur services to Heathrow and Heathrow Express tickets amongst other things. You can even ask them to redeem your points for cash.
A generous sign-up bonus – a FREE business class upgrade
PartnerPlusBenefit is currently offering 1,500 BenefitPoints for signing up (1,000 BenefitPoints) and registering a credit card (an additional 500 BenefitPoints).
You need to register a credit card as this is the main method they use for tracking flight purchases made by your company. It will pick up your purchases even if you book via a corporate travel agent.
The 1,500 bonus points for signing up are enough for:
a one-way upgrade to business class within Europe, or
3 x one-way Heathrow Express tickets, amongst other things.
Once you start crediting flights to the scheme, you can build your points to a level required to redeem for free flights or other deals – 2000 points gets you 14 days of airport parking for example. 1900 points gets you a £50 hotel voucher.
PartnerPlusBenefit is part of AwardWallet so you can keep track of your points via the business version of their app or website.
25% discount on PartnerPlusBenefit redemptions until 31st March
If you are already a member of PartnerPlusBenefit, there is a special redemption deal available until 31st March.
You can save 25% on all flight and upgrade redemptions made on all 10 PPB members.
A flight from the UK to Germany in Economy would be just 2,625 BenefitPoints instead of the usual 3,500 for example.
If you run your own company, or are the travel manager for someone elses, it is worth signing up to PartnerPlusBenefit. You may find the benefits are more useful than heavily devalued On Business points.
The sign-up page is here – you need to submit the form and request a callback. Travellers will still receive their standard miles in their personal accounts when they fly, so it is a genuine extra benefit on top.